The history of the magazine dates back to Radio Free Jazz, a publication founded in 1970 by Ira Sabin when he was operating a record store in Washington, DC. It was originally a newsletter designed to update shoppers on the latest jazz releases and provide jazz radio programmers with a means of communicating with the industry. However, Radio Free Jazz grew substantially over the next decade, attracting readers and writers from around the world. In 1980, the magazine s broader focus and appeal prompted a name change, so Radio Free became JazzTimes. In 1990, the magazine also underwent a change, receiving a bold new look that incorporated exclusive cover photography and state of the art graphic design. Since then JazzTimes has continued to evolve into what is widely regarded as the world s leading jazz publication.